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The Ohio State University College of Dentistry  

Graduate Study in Dental Materials

Programs Available

A Master of Science Program in Dental Materials Science is offered through the Section of Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry in the College of Dentistry. An individual completing this Program, which normally requires two years, with a choice of suitable electives will have an appropriate background to earn the Ph.D. degree with research specialization in dental materials science. A doctoral program with research emphasis on biomaterials is available through the Section of Oral Biology in the College of Dentistry, and has been the path for the Ph.D. degree for our past graduate students, following an additional three year period of study. A longer period of time may be necessary with the Oral Biology Program if the individual is not a dental school graduate. Ph.D. Programs with a research emphasis on biomaterials are also available through the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Department at The Ohio State University, but graduate students applying to one of these programs in the College of Engineering will need to satisfy substantial prerequisite requirements, if their undergraduate major was not in the particular engineering field.

Master of Science Program Description

The Master of Science Program has a strong core curriculum in dental materials science or biomedical engineering.  Each of the core courses has an intensive literature review and lectures on the major aspects of modern dental biomaterials. The dental materials science courses present fundamental relationships between the structures and properties of metallic, ceramic and polymeric materials, along with information about the clinical uses of these biomaterials.

Graduate students will also receive extensive training in research methodology and biostatistics, and in the operation of laboratory apparatus used for research in dental materials science. A strong thesis investigation is required, and it is expected that results will be presented at an annual meeting of the International/American Association for Dental Research, or of an equivalent professional society, and submitted for publication in an appropriate scientific journal.

The goal of our Program is to prepare individuals for academic and research careers in dental materials science or the broader area of biomaterials, not clinical dental practice. Because the current consensus is that a Ph.D. degree is almost essential for new faculty members seeking this type of career, our Program is considered to be the first step towards a Ph.D. program with research specialization and a dissertation in dental materials science or another biomaterials field.  Detailed information about the appropriate doctoral programs at The Ohio State University and prerequisite requirements are available on the websites for Oral Biology, Materials Science and Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.  The scientific training, along with research and technical writing skills, acquired in our Program are ideal prerequisites for continued study at the Ph.D. level.

Financial assistance in the form of tuition remission and a stipend will be available for a limited number of full-time students who become graduate associates in the Program.  Graduate students seeking the Ph.D. who have exceptional academic and research backgrounds may be admitted directly to the Biomaterials Track in the Oral Biology Program, without requiring the initial Master of Science Degree.


The Master of Science Program is administered through the Section of Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry in the College of Dentistry, and is directed by Dr. William Brantley, Professor (dental metallurgy), in collaboration with three other principal Program faculty:  Dr. William Johnston, Professor (color science and esthetic dental materials); Dr. Isabelle Denry, Professor (dental ceramics) and Dr. Scott Schricker, Assistant Professor (dental polymer materials).  There may also be Program participation by other Section faculty who have advanced clinical training and research experience in dental materials. Additional course instruction may be provided by faculty from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering or the Biomedical Engineering Department, who may also serve as research collaborators.

Student Requirements for Admission

One or two highly qualified new graduate students are normally admitted to the Program each year.  These new graduate students will generally have a demonstrated background or interest in research, and match the research interests of one or more principal Program faculty.  Applicants must hold the D.D.S. or equivalent degree, or must have a baccalaureate degree in an engineering materials area or another appropriate field of engineering or science, such as polymer chemistry. Applicants with baccalaureate degrees should have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 or the equivalent in undergraduate courses, and applicants who are graduates of dental institutions should have ranked high in their dental school classes.

Excellent academic performance in important background courses for the Program, such as physics, organic chemistry and materials science is also considered to be an important factor. It is highly desirable that graduate students have adequate skill in mathematics, particularly differential and integral calculus, and graduate students may be asked to audit calculus courses to remedy mathematics deficiencies.

It is required by the Graduate School that foreign applicants have a minimum TOEFL score of 550, and suitable evidence for English-language proficiency must be provided with the application materials. In addition, foreign graduate students will be given examinations of their written and spoken English abilities after arrival at The Ohio State University, and they may be required to take classes in written and/or spoken English, depending upon the outcome of these examinations.

Application Information

For additional information, including sample graduate curricula,  contact Dr. Brantley at (614) 292-0773 or by e-mail at

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